William A. Slaymaker's 1874 Opera Chair Patent Model

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William A. Slaymaker from Louisville, Kentucky, received a U.S. patent for an improved opera chair. Patent no. 151926 was issued on June 9, 1874.
The patent featured a design that would close automatically when it was not in use. This ability to fold up allowed for a more compact form. The desk was designed to be simple and inexpensive yet pleasing in appearance. The model has a wooden seat with a frayed cushion. The seat is curved and folds up to the backrest..The ironwork on the sides of the chair and armrest feature a detail of grapes. There is also a footrest bar. While this chair was initially designed for the opera, it was also used for school desk chairs.
We are not aware of any additional information about the inventor/patentee.
Currently not on view
date made
patent date
Slaymaker, William A.
referenced in patent specifications
United States: Kentucky, Louisville
Physical Description
cloth (seat cover material)
metal (side supports and joinery material)
wood (overall material)
overall: 4 3/4 in x 7 in x 3 3/4 in; 12.065 cm x 17.78 cm x 9.525 cm
ID Number
catalog number
patent number
accession number
Patent Models
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Domestic Life
Cultures & Communities
American History Education Collection
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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